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Piers Morgan Tonight

News/Business. (2012)

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CNN

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01:00:00

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1080

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Us 12, America 5, New Nectresse 5, Sophia 2, Adam Lanza 2, China 2, Pierce 2, Newtown 2, Ashley 2, Israel 2, Michigan 2, Bob 1, Sandy 1, Brenda 1, Ryan Lanza 1, Erin Burnett 1, Heerp 1, Courtney Martin 1, Cnn 1, Obama 1,
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  CNN    Piers Morgan Tonight    News/Business.  (2012)  

    December 15, 2012
    2:00 - 3:00am PST  

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you a letter from his holiness, pope benedict xvi, i was promptly informed of the shooting in sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. i conhave a my heartfelt grief and my personal prayers to the victims and their families. to all of those in the community of newtown and especially the parish of st. rose of lima. >> i have no words that make the pain of what happened today easy to bear. i'm heartbroken, as i know all of you are. nothing more hurtful or tragic than the loss of innocence, but no more so when those lost are young children. i'm heartbroken. >> people's children, brothers and sisters, were taken from them. people's spouses. those teachers and administrators were taken from us. >> i have to commend all of the first responders, both state and local, and certainly the staff
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of the school. they were there for those children, which is what teachers are all about. and it was most obvious today, most obvious today, what they really are about as teachers. to all of them, i say thanks on behalf of all of us. >> and that does it for us. thank you for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts now. breaking news, massacre in here is what we know. the 20-year-old shooter had an
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many say this tragedy demands tougher legislation and inside the white house, a viz approximately shaken president obama offered these words about the mass killing. these were beautiful little children between 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings. kids of their own. men and women who had devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
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>> an emotional president obama reflecting how most of the nation had been feeling and tonight, this is his brother, ryan lanza being taken into requesting today. i must think there are new details on the shooting. susan, a desperate day. the sofl and the testimony list with four children what do we know about the pepper that's tore of the he'dous crime. >> it is so heard breaking, pierce. gunman dressed in black fatigues and a military vest opened fire in the school.
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the police have questioned his father and his brother. from his apartment in he brokob new jersey. the father was also questioned by thaurts here in the new connecticut area. the father has divorced from nancy lanza. now she's the mother of the two who is a schoolteacher and who is counted among the dead. her body was found in a residence here in the new area as well. believe it or not, those weapons according to authorities, were both by the mother. not by the shooter.
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did he leave any notes behind? did he tell anyone what he was planning to do? among the many questions we all have tonight. >> thank you very much. i want to go to ashley banfield. ashley, i was watching earlier when you were sneaking and i think -- what's happening with them, the fact that they were okay. but this is every apartment's nightmare bodies of the children are lying there and police still call it a crime scene and the parents can't even see them. that's a bloody match off. >> no other way to put it.
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unimaginable horror. and i have another detail i want to share with you about how some of these parents learned that they wouldn't be seeing their children again. i think you know the detail that many of the chirp were rushed out of the school, out of the sandy hope elementary school by the police and teachers and they raced on foot to a near bifd fire station throughout the day there was an area within the fire station where the children were kept and they were shown movies until their parents came to find them. >> but parents were milling away when students -- it was quite a chaotic scene. over the course of the day, parents arrive and chirpen were
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taken a way. ultimately this was a moment where they had to tell these waiting parents there will be no month reunioned tonight tonight. i've told from someone in that area but at the moment the parents were told no more reunions and no more children coming. and then there were whales. and just a horrifying moment being the parents who waited and waited and waited, only to hear this. and ultimately you said, pierce, they know the bodies of their children are still in that school tonight. >> it's hard to imagine anything
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worse. ashley, thank you for that. we're joined by the mayor. mr. mayor thanks for joining me. this is almost beyond description. how is the community? >> it's been a horrific down and particularly the town of newtown and our heart goes out to the individuals that became homeless today and the other kids who go stiff. i have to tell you on the first o'campaign -- have been tremendous. the staff at school has been absolutely heroic.
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just an answer let international crisis. . >> i had the honor of working the the same school system and very close proximity to dawn who passed away tonight. she was a teacher in the public school system and el vatd up the ranks and reached principal in new town and it committed hard work dedicated educators. >> you could make that. >> appreciate you joining me, mr. mayor and i can only wish you the very best. trying to rebuild the community. did you know if there were any
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plans for any more vigils tomorrow? that. >> there are vigils scheduled through the the community all weekend and there is a simultaneous vigil. for each town and makes you realize, we -- reflecting a little bit about our public policy positions in terms as they relate to gun control and howie'd heal the folks mentally disabled. once we fully understand the horrific tragedy, i think the conversation will be started over the next week. >> thanks for joining me. >> can't imagine what it was like in the school. shows me her with her mother and they are here. i may stop for a few mother's
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nightmare. when the first you heard about it and how did you hear. >> i received a call from the school system saying that there was a shooting in newtown. didn't say that it was a school but the schools were on louk diop i didn't know where it happened and then i got a text and they said that sandy there had been a shooting so i got in my car and i wen over to the school and there are also state police and fire and newtown police. scenes of complete chaos. how quickly was it that you realized your daughter was safe? >> okay. when i got there there was complete chaos but i saw some moms and a neighbor.
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and i asked them what had happened and they said they didn't know. but that there was a shooting they carried out a little girl and it looked like she was dead so i stanltly i panicked because my baby heerp. but thankfully, no sooner he had that and i looked at the kids being brought from the school of the fire house and i saw her class and i said, where is sophia and they said, she's okay, she's coming. and we were automatic taken into the for house. >> this must have been a terrifying day for you. what did you think was happening? were you aware somebody was firing a gun at the school? not really.
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what she told me was they heard pops in the hallway and the teacher and the teacher told me, also, courtney martin, she's my hero, that she locked the door immediately and brought all the kids to a corner of the room where they stayed there. they were scared. they were shaken but they didn't know what was going on until later when they were brought to the fire house. police came and knocked on the door. he can come out. and they gridded him to the back of the school and they walked over to the fire house and that's where you caught up with sophia -- extraordinarily traumatic experience for all those children. and who survives this. >> i think she's numb right now. she's a pretty bright kid and she has a big support staff at home and we love her very much
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and she'll be fine. whooerp devastated for the rest of the families because we don't know. i do my close friends, their children are okay. but we don't know. >> i just wondered what this says about that happened to her today. >> do you want to say anything? >> i think she's too cold. >> no, i think she should probably go home with her mom. it's been a terrifying week. and i'm so grateful that you were able to see your daughterer the. >> this is a close-knit school and this is devastating. i'll be here for anybody. our prayers go out to all the
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families. >> brenda, thank you very much indeed. >> i'm the luckiest lady. >> thanks for joining me, i do appreciate it. >> thank you, thank you very much. >> lucky indeed. is adam lanza former classmate, alex israel. alex, thank for joining me. you, in character, is there something you could have ever predicted that he would one day flip and do something as monstrous as this. >> i don't know if you can ever predict something like that would happen but i don't know if i could predict it. there was something off about him. i only knew him closely when we were in elementary school together. he was always a little bit different. he mostly stayed to himself but i don't know if you could have predicted this. >> he was, by all accounts, a
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pretty clifr i think plan? a math genius, apparently? >> yeah. >> tell me about that side of it. >> i was never in any of his classes or anything like that, you could definitely say he was a genius. definitely something there that was a little bit above the rest of us. >> did he have friends? was he social? >> i always saw him alone. but i'm sure -- i think he what a few, maybe, close friends, through school or his classes. but most of the time i saw him he was alone, yeah. >> how would you describe his personality. >> he was really quiet and kept to himself and ap little if i jetty and a little uneasy if you were to look at him. socially not really into going
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out there and makings many friends as everyone was doing it in elementary school and o'middle school. >> did you know his family, his mother in particular? >> i knew her, we lived in the neighborhood. i knew her through neighborhood events. my mom knew her. she was a nice woman, a kindergarten teacher. i didn't know -- i know her personally. >> -- i've known him since i was in first grade and he's always been the way that i've described him. he's always been reserved by it so i don't know if the divorce had in addition to do with that and i don't know when they divorced and that could have caused that and made it until i
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was older. >> where were you when you their about this. >> >> i'm in london now studying hair for this semester and i'll be home on thursday, to this. i found out first, w it wasn't an option and i didn't you have to -- a town you've grown up in, my who e whole life, i was raised in that elementary school and raced in the school system there and finding out it was someone i knew ultimately who had done all this is just. and around utah, how would you describe that? >> a very kind of quiet place? it it sflus never happened?
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>> right. >> no. it's pretty big town space wise. we span over a vast array of land. everyone really came together, i think, through this and israel supporting each other quite well and that's the one good thing to come out of it if not all 123450 middle school. i didn't really have any. >> i never noticed anything scary or violent or anything
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like that. i would never have expected that from him, i don't think. just from someone who went under the radar and kept to themselves you wouldn't think of them as doing something crazy like this. >> it has to be a hell of a shot. i'm glad you joined us to give us some perspective on the character of this person. thank you. >> thank you. our next is psychology office shooter adam to talk about the gunman. could only com. new nectresse. the 100% natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. new nectresse. sweetness naturally. new nectresse. boproductivity up, costs down, thtime to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy. not fantasy... logistics. ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems...
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ups? ups. not fantasy? who would have thought? i did. we did, bob. we did. got it. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed.
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if i may start with you, brenda. let's start with you if i may. i have been involved in many of these kinds of incidents and possibly nothing as appalling as this. there seems to be a pattern with aurora and the shopping mall shooting last week. young men in their early 20s suddenly flipping and getting ahold of weapons and causing outrages. what is driving them? what is the possible background to what is going on here? >> working on a lot of these cases there a number of different causes that can be divided into two broad categories. one category is people who have that trait of a loss of empathy and inability to connect to other people and a history of
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cruelty or what people talk about as sociopaths or antisocial personality. at the other end people with brain disorders and serious mental illnesses that are untreated or because of what's happening in their life, exacerbated by stress. it sounds like the little bit that is coming out, we are more in a direction that this is someone with a brain disorder and other parts of the story that it may take years to uncover it. there is nothing sudden about any of these stories. that's the headline for me. it's sudden for us that this happened. as you begin to understand the story, i assure you the warning signs were there. not that they were ignored, but they were not recognized. >> are people like this as likely to carry out what they end up doing if they didn't have easy access to firearms? >> look, there is no question
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that firearms play a role. i can tell you from experience if somebody wants to kill a number of people, there other weapons of destruction and ways to make bombs and at least one case i worked on. firearms are certainly an important part of the picture, but understanding when somebody has a mental illness if it played a and i don't know that it has, but it needs to be carefully considered before allowing that person to have a firearm. >> frank, you specialize in treating post traumatic stress and the effects of violence. a very particular problem here with so many young people at the school who have luckily survived. having to deal now with the horror of losing possible friends and people that they knew from the school and teachers and the head teacher and so on. where do you start with trying to counsel young children when this kind of appalling thing happens?
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>> i think the first thing is helping the parents. the children look to their parents and for the parents, some of them are stunned. they are grieving. they lost a precious 6-year-old. for the children themselves, sometimes children who go through this and do survive take a while to make sense out of it. they may regress and move backwards a year or two in terms of their normal development. some of them will figure out years later what actually happened. some are going to do relatively well. they will be sadder and wiser in a way. the most important thing is what i see happening right now. that community is coming together. people are loving each other. the president has come to remind
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us that we are a nation who cares and he came as a father. i am a father and a grandfather. i have called my children and i want to know how they are doing with their children. as we come together, we do the best that we can at a sad time like this. >> i suppose the big question is why would this shooter do what he did? go to a classroom and murder so many young children of such a young tender age, possibly the classroom that his mother was already killed at their home. can you try to piece from your experience the thought process here? why he would then having killed his mother go to the school and do what he did? >> i don't have a crystal ball and i haven't diagnosed or assessed him. people with mental illness are
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not more violent. that's not the case. simply not the data we have. if indeed mental illness is a part of this, there is a particular path that needs to be looked at. are they depressed and suicidally depressed. his roommate alex israel said he preferred to stay alone. a symptom of asperger's and report that came out which may or may not be true, there is a capacity for empathy and social connection that leaves the person suffering for this condition. they are prone to serious depression and anxiety. if they are suicidally depressed, we don't know enough. what i am trying to do in agreeing to come here is to ask people to don't rush to judgment about who this young man is. if it was mental illness that played a role, it's an opportunity for us to do better. >> there is a school that you shouldn't give him attention and
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name him and so on because it brings attention to him. he's dead so he won't be able to bask in the appalling glory of what he did, but secondly these young men. >> you are making that assumption. we don't know that. i spend many hours with men like this who killed dozens of people. they don't necessarily want glory. they are seriously ill. others who do want glory. you are rushing to a particular interpretation of this. it's way too soon to know. >> sorry. >> i would like to endorse that also. i know for the whole country, we really want to know why this happened. when you are a parent you can't
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stop thinking about these questions that you are asking. we have to be very careful in answering them. when you mentioned that we had several similar cases recently, yes, these were similar in that guns were used and they were spree killings and mass killings. i can tell you as a medical doctor and psychiatrist who worked closely on cases, there were different motives and mentalities. there people who don't have a conscious. they torture animals. they have no basis in their mind for empathy or sympathy. they learn how to fake it. one of the columbine killers fit that pattern, but the other was different. he was not a psychopath. in the case of the aurora shooter, the jury is not in yet, but i have a feeling we will find he was on the verge of major mental illness about
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delusions and hallucinations. one time in my life i was responsible for the federal program of mental health services in america. i have to admit we failed. we failed america in protecting the lives of the seriously mentally ill. most of what they do is suffer in silence. their families want to do better by them and as a country we have not stepped up and been sympathetic and caring and appropriate for the seriously mentally ill. >> an extremely important point. what i was going to say is you both have made extremely valid points. you have three successive appalling mass shootings involving young men in their 20s where the background to all of them was not dissimilar. they seem to be fairly normal kind of slightly off, but nothing with alarm bells. the point of examining their character is that there must be a good likelihood that there
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others like that out there who may be considering similar atrocities. how do people who know these types of people spot any warning signs? >> piers -- >> let me start with the doctor. >> i'm sorry. i have three small children. before this interview they asked me what i was doing and we talked about this for about an hour and a half. my 9-year-old got frightened, he goes to elementary school. i explained to him that these things are exceedingly rare. let's not forget, this is exceedingly rare. just because something happened in the last month doesn't statistically make it a common occurrence. let's be clear and tell our children that. this is an opportunity to turn tragedy into an opportunity to fix some of the things that are terribly broken in our mental health care system and know how
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to identify people at risk for violence. it's all at the level of state funding. sorry about get get into the specifics, but it's mental health care and screening of not only young adults and children who offer a good assessment, we can in fact do a much better job of not only caring for the people and identify those who would never be violent if not for a mental illness. that is one bit of the story. there is another part which is what i think that most people are more familiar with and interested in because of movies. the diabolical sociopath. both stories are true, but both are actually quite rare. >> the final word, make it brief if you may. >> america has more gun deaths than any other advanced nation in the world. we have laws that say if you are seriously mentally ill, you shouldn't possess a weapon and
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we don't enforce the laws. we have to get together across this divide and need the nra to step up and say they believe in gun safety and not just in gun ownership. we need politicians on both sides of the aisle to tackle this problem. we will have more dead american children. >> thank you both very much. still ahead, we will talk to survivors of another shooting, but next the push for more gun control after the tragedy. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed.
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these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods. these children are our children. we are going to have to coming to and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the toll picks. >> president obama on the shooting. the massacre is raising new questions about the access of guns in america. he is urgently calling for more gun control. a former chief economist on the sentencing commission on more guns, less crime. the president of the campaign to prevent gun violence. the attorney for the michigan and responsible gun owners. let's start with you. you were pretty outspoken saying this is time to bring in new gun control laws. >> yes.
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if this doesn't wake us up, i don't know what will. i was heartened that the president said we had to take meaningful action and the only thing he can do is lead a crusade for reasonable gun control legislation in congress. these massacres are taking place more and more often. we saw bay the way today a similar incident in china where a mad man attacked an elementary school in china with a knife with 22 injured children. not dead. that's the difference. in the united states we have 9,000 people killed with guns last year in similar countries like germany, 170 and canada 150. there is a reason for that. >> what would you like to see in terms of specific gun control? >> there a number of pieces of legislation we have been pushing. no reasonable gun owner who is a
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sportsman can object to bans on assault weapons made only to kill as many human beings as possible like in a military situation. no one can object to a ban on the sale of large ammunition clips so you can't reload. no one can object to microstamping of card ridges to trace the murder weapon. no one can object to eliminating the gunshot exception so even if you buy a gun at a gun show, they still have to check your background to make sure they are not selling to someone on a terrorist watch list or mentally unstable person or a felon. those ares we should do. >> we had a heated debate on a previous incident. two things happened in 1996. athere was a massacre in tasmania in which 35 people were
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killed. the australians was right wing and friends of george w. bush and brought in draconian laws after that. he brought in rifles and shotguns. as a result of the next decade, firearm homicide rate fell by 59% and suicide rate fell by 65%. >> not true. >> it is true. >> no, it's not. if you look overtime -- >> it is true. >> i'm telling you people can look it up themselves. what you find is for decades the murder rate was falling in australia. it basically stopped falling. if you compare the average o two decades where it's falling to what it was afterwards, it makes it look like the average before is higher than afterwards. if you look on a year by year basis, there wasn't that fall. >> why does adam lanza mother need to have these three weapons? er including the semi-automatic?
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>> can i follow-through on the australiaia thing? >> no, why does she need to have these three weapons performed including this semi automatic bush master. why would a woman teacher at a kindergarten need these women ons in her home? allowing therefore a clearly deranged son to take them and commit this atrocity? >> whatever that gun looks like, it's a semi automatic rifle. any hunting rifle is semi automatic. doesn't mean it functions differently. he fired over 100 rounds in several minutes with this apparently harmless rifle. >> guns make it easy. >> you are trying to say it's an average gun. he fired over 100 rounds and killed 20 children. 20 children between 5 and 10. what point do you say we get it? it's time for change? >> it is time. >> time to do what? >> to get rid of the gun laws that cause -- >> to get rid of what? >> look at what happened. all the attack this is year occurred where guns are banned.
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look at the aurora shooting. >> what the hell has that got to do with it? seriously. what has that got to do with it? >> you never lete explain. can i say something? >> is it a gun-free zone. >> look at the movie theater one. there were seven movie theaters showing the movie within a 20 minute drive of where the killer lived. only one of those banned guns. he didn't go to the movie theater closest to his home. or with the largest screen. he went to the one movie theater that banned guns. if you look at bans generally, you can't point to a place, chicago, d.c. where we ban guns and murder rates and violent crimes went up. in the uk in jamaica and ireland, island nations that banned guns, you can't find a place where murder rates have gone down. they have gone up usually by large amounts. >> you cannot find a place -- >> let me bring in. >> first of all, basically every statistic that john cited is
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pure bunk in terms of the fact that the more guns equal -- that's true. they were gun-free zones, but attributing that to the fact that this violence occurred, that's where i have to step in. listen, my brother was shot in a shooting on top of the empire state building which was chaotic. i know firsthand i talked with the victims from the aurora tragedy. to a person, they all say if there were another person armed, it would have led to more carnage. excuse me. i let you talk, let me finish. let me finish. if every one of the cases they say if there were more guns, it would have only led to more
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chaos. at the empire building shooting in new york. there were highly trained officers in the chaos and eight other people shot and every one was an innocent civilian and every one was shot by a law enforcement officer. >> we have the attorney for the responsible gun owners. you believe that there should be more guns in schools. snart? >> i believe those of us who are licensed to carry are responsible people and shouldn't be prohibited from carrying in schools or other places. in fact, the michigan legislature passed a bill last night and sent to the government for signature a bill that would allow those of us who are licensed to take more day of training including range time and be able to carry in the places where we couldn't carry before. >> why on earth would you want more guns in schools after what happened today? >> here's why, piers. if we could suddenly make all guns disappear, i would have a different position. i spend a lot of time thinking about this and reading about this. i teach a class called gun
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control seminar and i get a new group every time and we discuss this in detail. the simple facts are guns exist. they are essentially 1800s technology. semi-automatics were in the late 1800s. they are easy to make and last several human lifetimes with minimal maintenance. since guns exist and we know for a exact that the only way to stop an evil person like the person you were discussing earlier in the show is to shoot them. >> this is exactly the argument i have been hearing ever since i joined cnn. i joined on air about a week after gabby giffords the congresswoman was shot in the head. ever since then, we have the sikh temple and aurora and the shopping mall and so on and so on. the argument i keep hearing if everybody was was armed, it wouldn't happen.
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it's hog wash, isn't it? if everyone in that movie theater had guns, more people would have been killed in the mayhem that erupted. >> the people that stopped the attacks. can i just -- >> the prove in the pudding. you don't see other shootings at gun shows or -- >> they have reasonable laws and they have 100 people a year not 9,000 or 10,000 a year. >> listen -- >> it was lower before gun control. >> they got the gun zoel. >> almost zero crime. >> the gun control doesn't change it. >> scotland in 1996 there was a similar school shooting. just an awful situation. 16 young children killed exactly as they were today. as a result of this, they brought in a hand gun ban. 162,000 hand guns were handed in.
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it is time for this. >> listen -- >> murder rates went up. >> there about 35 murders a year. there 12,000 murders a year from guns in this country. when are you guys going to focus on that and stop telling me the answer is more guns. it is not the answer. >> after the ban, it was higher than it was before the ban. >> you want more guns and not less? 300 million guns in america is not enough for you? how many more kids have to die before you guys say we want less guns and not more? >> he asked me a question. >> let him answer the question. >> imupset that the gun control laws you are pushing have killed people. >> that is non--y is sense. nonsense. average of 35 killings in britain a gleer a place of banned hand guns. here no bans and 12,000 people a year die from gun murders. >> you have to understand you ban them --
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>> i have been debating this all week with the shopping mall shooting and months if not two years. i am so frustrated and furious for these kids who are being blown away again with legally acquired weapons. some boy who has problems takes his mother's three weapons including this ridiculous assault rifle and goes in the school and kills these kids and you guys still want to tell me the answer is more guns? it is madness! >> how else can you stop someone from shooting people. what are we most angry about? every poll shows by massive majorities americans agree with what you said. yet we have a lobby. the leadership who function as leaders who are enablers of mass murder.
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political people and even though polling shows that most nra members would support reasonable gun controls, they come in and lie and say they will take your guns away and stop any legislation to prevent that. >> let's talk about enabling. >> nobody needs one of these in their home. end of story. >> i have to say something. >> the encouraging thing and what you should take inspiration because we are all frustrated and outraged. this conversation and what these guys are saying does not represent what the american public wants and the conversation that the american public wants to have. we are all in favor of things like criminal background checks. 74% of nra members are and most gun sales do not require a background check. things that we can do.
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>> it's not as they try to tell me an anti-american thing to say i respect the second amendment and i respect the right for a family to defend themselves. i don't respect families to load their homes with these so a disturbed kid can take them. we are ending the debate for now. [ female announcer ] born from the sweet monk fruit, something this delicious could only come from nature. new nectresse. the 100% natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
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>> plif police officers escorted children outside the school. the jewish community center in california, there was a 6-year-old student at jcc and he was shot in the leg and he joins me now. there's another jcc survivor and he survived the tragedy aurora and killed in the tedly shooting at the empire state building. >> i imagine with any mass shooting what were your feelings? >> it's -- it's impossible to put words to what i really feel. it's a mixture of sympathy and
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disgust. and my heart goes out to those families and there are people who have gone through the same thing and who understand what are you going through, and immediately what i thought was just that i wish that there was something i could do to help them. but, you know, in reality, it's a helpless situation. >> mindy, you survived what happened to you. when you hear the raging gun debate, which will be particularly vociferous in light of this appalling act today. do you think that tougher laws should be brought in to try and do something about this? >> you know, i do. i think josh and i and everyone in our community in this weird family we have, survivors of gun violence, wishes the day after what happened to them, nobody else has to go through it. unfortunately, 13.5 years later, we're sitting here watching
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these tragedies unfold on a daily basis. >> you were 16 at the time of the shooting. obviously, a lot of kids at the school today will be much younger than that, and they will have either lost friends or people they knew at the school it will be very difficult for them when they have to go back. what advice would you give them? what is the best way to try and deal with this? best served for their parents. what do you think? >> you know, to be honest, it's heartbreaking. because they are not going to know really what or how to feel until five, ten years from now, when it actually keeps haunting them and nightmares and fears that keep coming up. josh can speak to that himself, he was six years old at the time, and, you know, now he's in his 20s and it haunts him every day. i was 16, i knew why i was shot. i knew somebody tried to kill me, and every day, my entire life, i'm almost 30 years old, i'm haunted.
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there is nothing i can say to them that i am so, so sorry they have to go through this, and i really truly hope something will be done after today, because we cannot stand for this anymore. >> steven barton, you survived the aurora massacre a few months ago, a huge outcry then and people promised to do all sorts of things, politician mouths the usual rhetoric, absolutely nothing happened, and lo and behold, here we are with an even worse tragedy. more dead, and this time, 20 young kids. what are your views about the debate that will now unfold on this? >> i mean, i think the president said we need a meaningful action now, and he said that in the past, and so i'll be waiting for that action. it's a shame that 20 children have to be slain for us to even start talking about this. but i really think that the american public is fed up with the lack of conversation on this issue. >> and there will be more mass shootings in the last five or six years and in the previous
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four decades in terms of the particularly appalling ones. and yet you keep being told, well, not as bad as it seems. the situation, but it truly is. since i've been here, i've been utterly horrified, why i get so animated when i debate it on the show. i come from a country where this would be unthinkable. movie theaters, shopping malls, kindergarten classrooms would be shot down in an indiscriminate way on a bimonthly basis. i don't get why americans aren't far more angry. >> it's one thing for a politician to take action, but it's equally important that the american public demands these reforms, these changes, and the polling is clear. support for common sense gun reform. 82 percent gun owners support universal background checks. it's a failure of the system we haven't arrived at that point yet. >> paula, your brother was killed in the empire state
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building shooting. you believe in the right to own a handgun and a referendum wasn't needed. >> i think today a referendum is needed. as a father, innocent children, i see the heart break, we have to go back to that. we have 20 families, 26 families that are devastated right now, while we're having this debate. that's something we have to focus on. this is about gun control, about mental illness and a combination. it's got to be all groups that come together. >> it includes violent video games, hollywood movies.